First Jackie Claxton Film Festival Set for Sept. 24
Jackie Claxton is a normal, average girl… except for the fact that she has the special ability to cross dimensions and into parallel universes to save people and battle evil. And later this month, she and her many incarnations and creators will be celebrated at “Claxtonfest,” a unique local film festival.
Jackie Claxton is the creation of Jeff “Katts” Katsutani, a local writer, director, and producer. He worked with Jason Suapaia at Pacific Focus Inc., one of Hawaii’s longest-lived video production companies, and went on to co-found the ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase with him as well.
Following his guerrilla indie film “The Hidden Battle” in 2005 and its hard-won sequel “The Soul Savior Chronicles” in 2008, Katts designed the character of Jackie Claxton for for Ashley Layfield, Miss Hawaii 2007, for a local stage play titled “Dancing Between Heaven and Hell.”
But Jackie Claxton soon took on a life of her own, starting with Katts’ 2013 indie film “Jackie Claxton and the Battle from Beyond.” (That short film also inspired a music video from teen rock band EMKE.) The character got another stage run in “The World of Jackie Claxton” at The Actors Group that year, and was later featured in a local TV and web series.
Over the years, Jackie Claxton has been played by many different people and depicted across many different mediums, from film to photography to comics. And the many faces of Jackie Claxton is no accident.
Katts encourages other artists — be they filmmakers, illustrators, photographers, dancers, fashion models, or stage performers — to adopt the character for their own works. This makes Jackie Claxton a kind of open source character, where anyone can produce or participate in telling her stories and building out her growing world of friends, allies, and enemies. Katts describes the open Jackie Claxton universe as “Hawaii’s first cinematic universe” (a la Marvel’s sprawling comic francise), and a great opportunity for transmedia storytelling.
“Claxtonfest” will bring many incarnations of Jackie Claxton together in one place, including a new short film: “Jackie Claxton: The Prevention,” starring Mahealani Sims-Tulba, Junior Teen Hawaii 2014 and daughter of local comic Augie T. Sims-Tulba plays Jackie Claxton as a teen, the film described as the character’s “origin story.” The film festival will be hosted by Olena Heu, Miss Hawaii 2005.
Katts says that Jackie Claxton has fans all over the world, from Japan to Brazil to Maryland. And his hope is to make “Claxtonfest” an annual event, and perhaps one that can be held outside of Hawaii.
The first “Claxtonfest” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24 at Consolidated Ward Theaters (1044 Auahi St.). There will be two screenings at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10 only at the door.